Mark Pappenheim on classical music
Monday 25 July 1994
Yet, six years on from Greek, his violent operatic vision of an East End Oedipus (text courtesy of Steven Berkoff), Mark-Anthony Turnage (right) has almost managed to live down his image as the bad boy from Grays, the headbanging young pretender whose music owed more to Miles Davis and the blues than to Mozart and the Three Big Bs.
Yes, the saxes still wail, the blue notes still bend, and the rhythms still beat, but there's a mellowness about the music now. Melody even. Maybe it's simply a matter of maturity: the bad boy is now all of 34 years old. But maybe it has more to do with the past four years spent as composer-in-association with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. There's nothing like knowing their audience (and their players) for bringing composers back to a sense of their communicative responsibilities, and nothing like appearing alongside the standard repertoire for anchoring them back into tradition. What Thatcher might have called responding to market forces.
Not that Turnage has turned coat comple-
tely. In his latest Birmingham piece, Drowned Out, receiving its London premiere at the Proms this week, the title puns both on the drowning hero of William Golding's novel, Pincher Martin, and on the drowning-out of the rest of the orchestra beneath a surging sea of brass. Who else would bring on the climax with the orchestral marking 'very nasty? As they say, you can't keep a bad boy down.
Thursday 7.30pm Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 (071-589 8212) and live on Radio 3
Life & Style blogs
Childcare 'not just a women's issue,' says shadow minister as she sets out her 'dadifesto'
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Scottish salmon sales leap as Asia develops a taste
Grim second life of the 'breastaurant': The oft-loathed sector is booming in the States thanks to Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...